Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Splits, Venues and International Table Top Day

Greetings NoBoGers, the blog is back after a week away. Blame the disruption on unscrupulous invading powers trying to wrest NoBoG sovereignty away, or possibly government hackers spying on the webcam feeds.

International Table Top Day

It's been raised again whether the combined irregular chaotic membership of NoBoG are planning to do anything on International Table Top Day. If you're asking yourself "What the Hell is International Table Top Day ?" I'll save you typing it into Google - click here . Suffice to say it's a day... that's promoted...  to go forth and play table top games, and be inviting to unsuspecting members of the public. And this year it's on Saturday 5th April.

Potentially the day could be a good excuse to play some longer games that don't fit in of an evening, and also might interest new local players that have not yet heard of the delights of NoBoG, however the day falls on a Home match for Norwich City F.C. with all the traffic and difficulties that entails.

Any interest in this, then post a comment on the blog, twitter, or have a chat down the pub about it.

Last Week - Split Venue

Last week with a potential quiz night at the Ribs conflicting with our numbers, we split into two groups - one staying at the Ribs and one taking a short walk down the road to Take 5. Those who remained at the Ribs got to play Seasons, Kemet and Ticket to Ride Europe and King of Tokyo whilst those down the Road played a couple of games of Trains, and a couple of games of Mice and Mystics.

So given the potential of Take 5 to replace the Ribs as the default venue of NoBoG how did the place stack up ?

On the plus side, Take 5 had a nice atmosphere and friendly staff - some nice large tables on the ground floor, and a whole heap of space upstairs - twice as large as the Wherry Room at the Ribs, meaning that everyone could get into one room.
Bondy gives his best Royal Wave upstairs at Take 5

The kitchen was open, serving food, and also a range of cakes and other things were on offer, providing a bit more of a rounded experience than an evening at the Ribs. Rich managed to eat his body weight in cakes as he seemed determine to try one of everything before the evening finished.

 On the negative side, tables were in short supply -

Even though only 7 of us ended up at Take 5, we managed to take up every bit of table space available upstairs. Lots of room. Bugger all tables.

And it was expensive.

And closed early. Half past ten early.

On the whole the opinion seemed to be somewhat negative for Take 5 - nice place, good space, but the lack of tables is a killer, and the higher prices didn't help. Personally I rather liked the place and wonder whether there might be an opportunity to talk with the landlord about getting some extra tables - even fold up tables. When we went in there the place was empty - 3 or so people, and by the time we left, there was but a single person. I would think the prospect of having 20 or so people in the pub on a Tuesday would be Good For Business, and that maybe providing a few tables would be inconsequential if it got you steady business. But I wouldn't know and as no one else seemed that taken by it, perhaps not even worth pursuing.

As it stands at the moment Take 5 is fine for an overflow destination when it needs to be, but as a replacement venue it just doesn't have the table space.

This Week

An interesting range of games were on offer this week, some shiny new things, old things that were new for NoBoG and some old things that had hardly been seen at NoBoG at all.

Bondy brought Descent 2 along - it's been a year since he last brought it down, and that was quickly subscribed ( and over subscribed ) to by all the Richards plus Pete. According to Mr Bond The Riches have been identified as Punk Rich, Lovely Rich and Richard the IV. As to which one is which... I'm also sure there is a Dick/Table joke in there somewhere too.

Bondy played the Overlord for Descent, and managed to squeeze in a couple of scenarios against the Alliance of Riches Plus Pete. However, despite Pete putting some dubious magical skills into play - in somewhat of a repeat of last week when it was speculated his wizard was no such thing and was actually just a mental patient running around shouting Blazaam at things to no real effect - Bondy failed to hurt the intrepid adventurers, succumbing to a blast of Pete Magic that actually worked, and some Beserker brutality by one of the Richards.

As Bondy comforted his wounded pride at game end, he positively reflected on the fact that Pete was hurt and diseased, and surely would be an easy target for the next scenario to be played on another day...

New and shiny dexterity game Rampage ( named as a homage to the very cool, old 80s arcade game of the same name ? ) got taken upstairs, where Dean whipped his unrealising workers into assembling the Movie Monster City Trashing game before proceeding to balance, throw and breathe/spit all over the components. This was not however some drunken or rage fuelled Euro game gone wrong, but part of the unique charms of the game that sees you balancing things, flicking things and even using 'breath weapons'. The game is a visual feast of 3D pretty things and funny gameplay and definitely one to watch. However, its suitability for the worlds most cramped table space in a subdued darkened pub where bits can and do jump off the table is open to debate. Also not a great game to play if someone has the flu - where using your breath weapon and breathing over the components brings a whole new long term infectious strategy to the game play. Those of a squeamish nature or weak immune system may like to walk away, or don a Japanese style germ mask.

On a nearby not quite so cramped table, Castles of Burgundy played out to a nail biting finish, with Stu and Nicky ending up in a tie breaker situation, beating out also rans, Paul and Tom.

For more new and shiny, Sam turned up with his new recently shipped Kickstarter affair Galaxy Defenders. A simple area based co-operative tactical combat game, players get to fight through a number of scenarios versus a programmed alien AI. Everyone seemed to enjoy this, and it will be good to see this again for another bash.

Five player Caverna played out on the last table - with two complete beginners ( no experience of Agricola either ), two that had played it once, and myself, veteran of many a game.

Not surprisingly I managed to romp to a strong win, with Clive putting in a good show with a heavy weapon strategy, and the beginners just struggling to understand how everything slotted together. Enjoyable game, but the static setup is beginning to bother me more and more.

Mascarade got a quick outing at the end of the evening - beating out a suggestion of Resistance play, however, there are rumblings about Resistance not having been played in *weeks* ( the outrage ! ) and that perhaps next week and entire evening could be devoted to it. Madness surely, but it seems Resistance is missed.

People. 19 last week - and the Ribs managed to attract no one to their quiz night, meaning our shuffling shenanigans weren't actually required. 21 this week.


Alfonso said...

Tabletop Day sounds good. I don't think you could fit us into the Ribs on a Saturday though, especially with Norwich playing.

Maybe one of the local shops/other gaming groups has planned something similar to the Diceni event last year. The Forum would be an ideal place for an afternoon of gaming.

Mr Bond said...

Two mistakes made in Descent.

1. Attacks must target a monster - this includes Blast, which cannot target an empty space.

2. Figures block LOS. Not sure why I thought they didn't.

Minitrue said...

Athena Games in Norwich is actually doing something for Table Top Day, however I believe they are more your hard core, fevered brow, Magic the Gathering and other CCG thingers.

Minitrue said...

The Forum is booked on tabletop day - and apparently pretty busy for all of 2014 - plus it's a pay only, no exceptions, no reductions type malarkey ( no idea on price, but given they include staff, furniture, wifi access et al you can be sure it's not cheap )

Dean Bowman said...

Take Five is probably my favourite haunt in Norwich stretching right back to Uni 10 years ago (when it was based at Cinema City), so i would be well up for migrating there if the table situation could be rectified. the upstairs space looks perfect and if there were a bunch of us there buying drinks (and cake) i'm sure closing early wouldn't be an option. They also have the best vegy burger in the world (and i'm not even vegetarian).

I would be up for doing something on Table Top day if we can sort something out. As you say would be a good opportunity to play some longer games.

Sam Blackwell said...

I'm definitely a fan of Take 5. As Dean said, the upstairs space is nice and roomy, but table space is absolutely a deal breaker.

I'd also be up for something on Tabletop Day, whatever form that might take.